Ways to Avoid Hangovers
The after effects of heavy drinking are caused not only by alcohol but also by preservatives and chemical by-products from fermentation, called congeners, in the drinks. There are usually more congeners in dark-coloured drinks than in light-coloured.
Alcohol also dries out the body by increasing the amount of urine that the body discharges.
Brandy, blended whisky and red wines have high alcohol and congener contents and so tend to produce the worst hangovers. Gin, vodka, white wine and malt whisky contain fewer congeners and are less likely to cause a bad hangover.
These are only general rules, however, as the amount of congener can vary from one brand to another, and their effect varies from person to person.
Ways to avoid hangovers
• Drink less.
• Discover which drinks affect you most, and keep off them.
• Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks such as mineral water.
• Never drink on an empty stomach. Even a glass of milk can be a great help.
• Dilute spirits with water or soft drinks to reduce the dehydration and stomach irritation they cause.
• Reduce the rate at which alcohol enters your bloodstream by drinking slowly.
• After a drinking spree, drink as much water as you can before going to bed to compensate for the loss of body fluid.
• In the morning, drink more fluids.
• If you have a headache, take paracetamol rather than aspirin, which will irritate an already irritated stomach.
OLD WIVES’ TALES: HANGOVERS
Plenty of black coffee sobers you up quickly There is no stimulant or drug that will speed the rate at which alcohol is removed from the bloodstream.
A ‘hair of the dog’ cures a hangover An alcoholic drink on the ‘morning after’ will not help. And reliance on an early morning drink can lead to alcoholism.